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November 30, 2009 | Michael Hiltzik
The first memory Emile Haddad has of what would become the site of the Orange County Great Park and the location of his biggest development project dates from 1986, not long after he and his family fled their home in Lebanon. Then it was still the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, and as he tried to make a phone call from the roadside the quiet was shattered by the sound of an F/A-18 fighter jet screaming overhead. Haddad, 51, had grown up amid the nearly constant bloodshed of a sectarian Beirut, and his first instinct was to hit the ground.
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OPINION
May 21, 2011 | Jim Newton
In Southern California, there's nothing like a very large piece of real estate to cause discord. And the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station is nothing if not a large piece of real estate. Ever since the military decided to unload the base in the 1990s, Orange County residents have been bickering over what to do with the land, and the decision in 2005 to turn it into the Great Park hasn't ended the conflict. But first the history. Even before the military moved out, county residents divided into two bitterly opposing camps: those who supported using the site for a commercial airport and those who envisioned it as a vast and impressive park.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2000 | Young Chang, (714) 520-2506
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to oppose an initiative that would block the construction of a $2.9-billion airport at the former El Toro Marine Corps base. Measure F would require two-thirds of registered voters to build projects including county airports, jails and landfills. Councilman John Holmberg said public safety shouldn't be placed in the hands of the voters.
BUSINESS
November 30, 2009 | Michael Hiltzik
The first memory Emile Haddad has of what would become the site of the Orange County Great Park and the location of his biggest development project dates from 1986, not long after he and his family fled their home in Lebanon. Then it was still the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, and as he tried to make a phone call from the roadside the quiet was shattered by the sound of an F/A-18 fighter jet screaming overhead. Haddad, 51, had grown up amid the nearly constant bloodshed of a sectarian Beirut, and his first instinct was to hit the ground.
NEWS
June 7, 1989
Because a recent string of military aircraft accidents can be largely blamed on human error, the commandant of the Marine Corps ordered all Marine pilots to leave their cockpits for a two-day safety refresher course over the next two weeks. Gen. Alfred M. Gray Jr. said that in the seven recent accidents, which claimed the lives of 45 Marines, "air crew error predominates and most likely will be a primary cause in all these mishaps." Aircraft and crews based at Tustin and El Toro Marine Corps air stations in Orange County have been involved in three of the fatal helicopter accidents, accounting for 25 of the fatalities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 1993
How many airports does Southern California really need? The debate over the future of El Toro Marine Corps base is part of regional jockeying that threatens to create unhealthy competition between candidates for commercial fields. Or it could put ambitious local airport authorities needlessly in hock. While few experts doubt the need for new commercial airports to serve Southern California in the years ahead, the key questions are how many and where.
NEWS
June 7, 1989 | GEORGE FRANK, Times Staff Writer
Because a recent string of military aircraft accidents can be largely blamed on human error, the commandant of the Marine Corps Tuesday ordered all Marine pilots to leave their cockpits for a two-day safety refresher course over the next two weeks. Gen. Alfred M. Gray Jr. said that in the seven recent accidents, which claimed the lives of 45 Marines, "air crew error predominates and most likely will be a primary cause in all these mishaps." Aircraft and crews based at Tustin and El Toro Marine Corps air stations in Orange County have been involved in three of the fatal helicopter accidents, accounting for 25 of the fatalities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 1996
The Oct. 3 article concerning the Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting [reported] "angry and vociferous South County residents fighting the proposed airport at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station." As I carefully read the article, specifically the quoted vituperative personal attacks against the supervisors, I was reminded of the Sonny and Cher line, with a wee bit of editorial license, "and the bleat goes on." The guy with the circular saw at least showed some imagination. But comments like "you are not our supervisors" and "people who are not impacted are going to make a decision on people who are impacted," are dumb.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 1993 | KEVIN JOHNSON and LILY DIZON, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The newly proposed closing of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station would drain more than $400 million a year from the Orange County economy and, coupled with the previously announced shutdown of the air base at Tustin, would result in an annual loss to the local economy of more than $1 billion, officials said. The bleak economic prospects are softened only slightly by the possibility of future commercial development on the 4,700 acres of prized El Toro real estate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2000 | Young Chang, (714) 520-2506
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to oppose an initiative that would block the construction of a $2.9-billion airport at the former El Toro Marine Corps base. Measure F would require two-thirds of registered voters to build projects including county airports, jails and landfills. Councilman John Holmberg said public safety shouldn't be placed in the hands of the voters.
NEWS
June 30, 1999 | JANET WILSON, LOS ANGELES TIMES
Just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, in a time when orange groves still stretched alongside dusty farm roads from the Santa Ana Mountains to the sea, the U.S. Marines put their boots down in the heart of Orange County. They wanted a training ground for hotshot pilots destined to do battle in the Pacific Rim. It would change everything. The site they selected was smack in the middle of James Irvine's finest 28,000-acre lima bean field, then the world's largest.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 1997 | KEN WOO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For three years, Steve Stavrakakis has flown a jet in the El Toro Air Show and enjoyed a special camaraderie with other pilots whose steel nerves and split-second timing have made the event a thrilling tradition for 47 years. This year, however, is the final show at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, which is closing in 1999. "I hate to see it happen," Stavrakakis, 39, said, adding that the Marines are "like a family to us."
NEWS
December 5, 1996 | SHELBY GRAD and ERIC BAILEY, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Laguna Niguel City Councilman Thomas W. Wilson was selected Wednesday to succeed Marian Bergeson as Orange County's 5th District supervisor, and he immediately vowed to fight the conversion of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into a commercial airport, the county's most divisive issue. "Many of my constituents want me to vote 'no,' " said the 56-year-old retired Rockwell International aerospace engineer. "I am going to work diligently on their behalf to keep [an airport] from happening."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 1996
The Oct. 3 article concerning the Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting [reported] "angry and vociferous South County residents fighting the proposed airport at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station." As I carefully read the article, specifically the quoted vituperative personal attacks against the supervisors, I was reminded of the Sonny and Cher line, with a wee bit of editorial license, "and the bleat goes on." The guy with the circular saw at least showed some imagination. But comments like "you are not our supervisors" and "people who are not impacted are going to make a decision on people who are impacted," are dumb.
NEWS
June 30, 1994 | H.G. REZA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Navy is studying the possibility that some naval and Marine Corps bases scheduled to be closed could be kept open by showing Congress that the military installations are vital to national defense or that closing them would be too expensive. In a June 1 Navy memo, base commanders were told that they are welcome to "propose changes to the previously approved . . . base recommendations of the . . . (congressionally appointed) commissions."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 1989 | GEORGE FRANK, Times Staff Writer
Because a recent string of military aircraft accidents can be largely blamed on human error, the commandant of the Marine Corps on Tuesday ordered all Marine pilots to leave their cockpits for a two-day safety refresher course over the next two weeks. Gen. Alfred M. Gray Jr. said in the seven recent accidents, which claimed the lives of 45 Marines, "air crew error predominates and most likely will be a primary cause in all these mishaps." Aircraft and crews based at Tustin and El Toro Marine Corps air stations in Orange County have been involved in three of the fatal helicopter accidents, accounting for 25 of the fatalities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 1985 | Robert Hanley \f7
Orange County skies will be filled with the aerobatic antics of supersonic aircraft, while motorists may be languishing on the earth below when the Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro stages its 35th annual air show on April 27 and 28. The charity event, the centerpiece of a Marine Corps drive to raise money for the Navy Relief Society, is expected to again draw a crowd of 300,000 to 500,000 .
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 1994 | KEVIN JOHNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Orange County Grand Jury urged local leaders Wednesday to take control of the decade-long problem of jail overcrowding, warning that further delay could seriously erode the future effectiveness of law enforcement officers. The grand jury found a shortage of 3,615 beds in the county system, which has resulted in the release or turning away of "tens of thousands" of people who would normally spend time in jail.
NEWS
April 27, 1994 | H.G. REZA and JODI WILGOREN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
As if on cue, the brooding skies that hovered over El Toro Marine Corps Air Station Tuesday suddenly burst with sunshine, as the plane carrying Richard Nixon to his final homecoming taxied to a stop. Storm clouds had threatened to dampen an already somber military ceremony planned for the arrival of the former President's body. But the rain that fell on much of Southern California Tuesday eased long enough so the brief ceremony, which is steeped in military tradition, could proceed.
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